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January 13, 2023

Outgoing Pennsylvania Gov included high-profile artist in final batch of record-setting clemency grants

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has only a few more days in office, and he is closing out a tenure that has been record setting in the use of clemency authority.  This local article discusses that record as well as the high-profile clemency recipent in the last batch of grants:

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has pardoned Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill of his possession of drugs and weapons charges from 2008....

Wolf has issued more than twice the amount of pardons granted by any of his predecessors, with at least a quarter of them targeting non-violent marijuana offenses, his administration announced Thursday.

Wolf, a Democrat, signed his final 369 pardons this week, for a total of 2,540 since he took office in 2015. He surpassed Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell's record of 1,122 granted pardons. Of the pardons, 395 were part of the expedited review process for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses. Another 232 were part of the PA Marijuana Pardon Project, which accepted applications through the month of September.

"I have taken this process very seriously - reviewing and giving careful thought to each and every one of these 2,540 pardons and the lives they will impact," Wolf said in a statement. "Every single one of the Pennsylvanians who made it through the process truly deserves their second chance, and it's been my honor to grant it."

A pardon grants total forgiveness of the related criminal conviction and allows for expungement.

January 13, 2023 at 09:26 AM | Permalink


All given after his political accountability has disappeared. My goodness.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 13, 2023 1:20:13 PM

No posts on the Biden Syndicate?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Jan 13, 2023 7:11:31 PM

Now Mr. Otis, you know that virtually all political executives who can grant pardons do so on their way out the door, after their political accountability is gone. That is just the way it is done and always has been. This Pennsylvania Governor has done nothing wrong, compared to Kentucky's former Governor Matt Bevin. Two of former Gov. Bevin's pardons were so far out and wrong-headed that the U. S. Department of Justice exercised its right under "Dual Sovereignty" to prosecute the defendants a second time for the same criminal acts they had been pardoned from under Kentucky law. And that is virtually unprecedented in the history of American criminal law.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Jan 13, 2023 8:58:52 PM

Jim Gormley --

"Now Mr. Otis, you know that virtually all political executives who can grant pardons do so on their way out the door, after their political accountability is gone."

The widespread nature of the cowardice makes it worse not better.

I agree with you about Bevin.

Successive prosecutions under the SCOTUS-approved dual sovereignty doctrine are unusual but not unprecedented, see e.g., the Rodney King case and the George Floyd case.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 13, 2023 9:29:12 PM

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